The American League Central will be the most competitive division in baseball in 2009.
Let's break this down - in the AL East, the Orioles and Blue Jays will be below .500. In the AL West, Seattle is terrible. In the NL East, the Nationals will be bad, the NL Central has the Pirates and Astros, and the NL West is the worst division in baseball.
Bringing us back to the AL Central:
The Twins barely missed the playoffs, losing a one-game playoff to the White Sox, who enter the season as defending division champs. The Indians are now two seasons removed from their disappointing ending to the 2007 season and can't be counted out as a threat. This is the year the Royals get back above .500. And then you have the Tigers, who have to be chomping at the bit to avenge last year's disaster of a season.
I think, if it's mathematically possible, you have 5 teams right there that play better than .500 ball all year...making the AL Central the most competitve division in baseball in 2009.
For the sake of argument, here's my order of divisions in terms of competitiveness:
1) AL Central
2) NL East
3) NL West (the Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, and Rockies really all could win the division)
4) AL East (a very good 3-team race)
5) NL Central (a bunch of teams have a chance, but none are all that good...that's right, Cubs. Win a playoff game sometime then we'll talk)
6) AL West (the Angels comfortably win this division...maybe even the American League)